Hobby Lobby has officially dumped the contents of its shelves into my apartment — and it is a beautiful, sparkly mess — which, is actually really exciting for my kitty, Blanche.
After that crappy week I told you all about, I was really excited to get involved in a good craft project.
Every year, one of my best girlfriends and her boyfriend compete in a Gumbo Cook-off. Three years ago, they asked me if I wanted to join their team. Let’s see, tons of Southern food, gumbo, beer, and people-watching? HELLS YES.
So now, it has become an October tradition to pack up our cars, drive an hour away, and spend the weekend cooking (and eating) delicious food. It’s something I look forward to every year.
While our team is smaller than most of the teams we’re competing against, we’ve stepped up our game these last few years — selling out of gumbo, sporting matching shirts and aprons, and this year, I volunteered to decorate our booth!
Every year, the Gumbo Cook-off has a theme. In previous years, it’s been things like “America the Beautiful,” or “Choot ‘Em” (Swamp People). This year, the theme is “25th Anniversary.”
Umm, because of course the year that I decide to decorate, they would have the theme be something un-fun, and really freaking difficult to figure out.
At first, I was just thinking I could have silver decorations (since 25 is year of silver). And then I decided that was lame and boring. Then I was just thinking about gumbo itself — chicken, sausage, bell peppers, onions, etc. I was imagining strands of faux veggie garland.
But… turns out, plastic veggies are super expensive. So, fail.
Over brunch, one of my guy friends suggested a play on words: Twenty Fifths…as in, 20 bottles of alcohol.
At first, I wasn’t sold. But once I got to Hobby Lobby, I went down every aisle and starting seeing some different options where I could make the “20 fifths” thing work.
So, two hours later, I had my cart filled with hot glue sticks, scrapbook paper, twine, bottles, mason jars, faux plants, mini martini glasses, and small Solo cups, among other things.
It took me all week, but I made:
Table Banner — “Cheers to 20 Fifths” using the scrapbook paper. I used 20 sheets of scrapbook paper, traced bottles of Jack Daniels and wine on them, painted the bottles black, and trimmed the paper into equal rectangles. Then, I used the twine and tiny clothespins to make it a hangable banner.
Table Decor — Hobby Lobby had these giant cardboard-ish numbers, so I bought a 2-0, and then a large glass wine bottle, which I painted “5ths” on it, and filled it with faux hay and glittery, silver sticks (to signify 25). To add a little something extra, I found a stockpile of beer bottle caps, which I glued to the numbers. Finally, a use for the things I hoard!
Cocktail Garland — I used the small, red Solo cups, along with the tiny, plastic martini glasses to create a cocktail garland (using the twine). Holes were poked into the cups and strung, then I used hot glue to secure it (I didn’t want the cups to move). I hot glued the twine to the martini glasses, so the garland would be Solo cup-tini-cup-tini, etc. To add some detail, I hot glued toothpicks with tiny faux olives on them (I made these) into the glasses.
Tent decor — I used the mason jars to fill with faux hay, glittery silver sticks, and other flowers, along with wine corks. I know this doesn’t have a direct relation to our “drinking” theme, but I really just wanted something that would decorate the sides (the legs) of our tent, and I couldn’t think of anything that would really catch people’s eyes.
While I’m not sure if we will be in the running to win the decorations-portion of the competition, I think people will at least appreciate our love for booze. If you’re indoors crafting this week, good luck! Make something beautiful.